Sen. Bernie Sanders rolled out an ambitious plan Friday that would categorize internet service as a public utility as part of his 2020 presidential campaign. The proposal would provide $150 billion worth of grants and aid to help local governments build broadband internet infrastructure. Sanders’ plan also pledges to break up the large corporations that dominate internet and cable service.
“High-speed internet service must be treated as the new electricity — a public utility that everyone deserves as a basic human right,” the proposal says.
Sanders cites municipal governments that have already implemented public broadband service. Anacortes, Wash. — an island community 80 miles north of Seattle — is preparing to deploy municipal broadband, following the footsteps of a handful of communities across the country.
“This is not a radical idea,” Sanders’ plan says. “Cities across the country deliver municipality-owned, high-speed internet to their residents, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Lafayette, Louisiana.”
Sanders promises to deliver affordable, high-speed internet to every American household by the end of his first term, under the plan.